William Seneca Sutton, teacher and university administrator, was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on August 12, 1860, the son of James Tillton and Francena Lavinia (Martin) Sutton. He attended the University of Arkansas, where he received his B.A. in 1878, his M.A. in 1880, and his LL.D. in 1905. Sutton taught for a time in the Arkansas public schools before he moved to Texas in 1883. He married Annie Blackman Erwin on June 12, 1884; they became parents of two children. After serving as principal and superintendent of high schools at Ennis and Houston, Sutton, in 1897, was appointed instructor in education at the University of Texas. He became professor of education in 1905 and in 1909 was made dean of the School of Education, which he had been instrumental in separating from the College of Arts. He organized and established summer school sessions of the university. He served as acting president of the university in 1923 and 1924 and in 1927 became dean emeritus. Sutton was president of the Texas State Teachers Association, in 1896, of the National Society of College Teachers of Education in 1908, and of the Texas Academy of Science in 1910. He was a member of the National Educational Association and the National Society for the Scientific Study of Education. In 1923 he aided in an educational survey of Texas. He was the author and coauthor of several arithmetic textbooks and wrote Problems in Modern Education (1913). Sutton died in Austin on November 26, 1928, and was buried in the State Cemetery. Sutton Hall on the University of Texas campus was named for him on November 26, 1930.
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Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Who's Who in America, 1926–27.
School Principals and Superintendents
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Harwood P. Hinton,
“Sutton, William Seneca,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 26, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
July 1, 1995